The DES MOINES CLASS HEAVY CRUISERS
(also called the Salem Class by some)
USS Des Moines CA-134 * USS
Salem CA-139 * USS Newport News CA-148
It can be said that with this class the high point and the end of American cruiser
development arrived simultaneously. In general terms, these ships had much in common, from
an exterior point of view with their Oregon City class predecessors - in the disposition
of weaponry and in fire control instruments. This class was the summation of lessons
learned in wartime and its ships were (the Alaska class excepted!) the largest cruisers
ever built. The fact that they were approximately 4,000 tons heavier than Oregon City
stemmed mainly from the introduction of the world's first fully automatic 8" gun
turret. These were capable of a rate of fire 20 shells per gun per minute. Obviously a
greater quantity of ammunition had to be stowed which meant larger magazines. A further
proportion of the additional displacement was devoted to improved armor.
Significant dates in the History of USS Newport News CA-148
Other Facts and information
The USS Newport News was the highest decorated ship from the east coast during the Vietnam campaign.
Most of the information on this page was gathered from the book CRUISERS
of the US NAVY; 1922-1962 by Stefan Terzibaschitsch. Published and distributed
in the US by the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland 21402. I highly recommend this
book to anyone interested in Navy Cruiser. Half of the 319 pages are pictures with the
other half of the book filled with details of each ship.
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